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Keeping Kitty Cool
May 1, 2024

Summer is just around the corner. Although the worst of that scorching heat is still a few months away, many people are already preparing for outdoor activities. With the arrival of warmer weather, it becomes crucial for pet owners to ensure the well-being of their beloved furry companions by taking necessary precautions against the heat. Continue as a local Leonardtown, MD veterinarian offers advice on safeguarding your kitty from the dangers of heat stroke.

What Temperature Is Too Hot For Our Feline Friends?

Typically, whenever the temperature exceeds 80F (or 26C), it’s pretty warm for Fluffy. When the temperature rises above 90F (32C), it becomes uncomfortably hot, and if it surpasses 100F (38C), it reaches a dangerously high level.

How Do I Keep My Cat Cool?

Dog owners have a few more options here. To help Fido cool down when he’s feeling hot, you can take him for a swim, let him splash around in a kiddie pool, or allow him to play in the refreshing spray from a hose. Obviously, none of these options are appropriate for cats. To cool down a kitty, it’s best to try a different approach.

Here are some  tips:

Keep Kitty Hydrated

First and foremost, it’s important to ensure that your cat always has fresh water. It’s a good idea to have additional water bowls available if you have multiple cats or if your home has multiple levels. On hot days, it’s perfectly fine to drop an ice cube into your cat’s dish. Additionally, you could consider offering Fluffy a fountain.

Provide Your Cat With A Cooling Mat

Many pet stores carry products specifically designed for this purpose. Another option is to place a couple of towels in the freezer and then place them on Fluffy’s bed.

Allow Fluffy To Enjoy Some ‘Pawkey’

Does your cat ever play with ice cubes? Not only is this a great way to entertain your kitty, but it also provides relief from the hot weather. Kitties use their adorable little toe beans to help regulate their body temperature. In fact, they only sweat through their paw pads.

Give Your Furball A Cool Snack

On a scorching day, even our feline friends can’t resist the allure of a refreshing treat. Here are some options you can provide for your beloved pet:

  • Cold Dinner: Store Fluffy’s canned food in the refrigerator to ensure a refreshing meal for your furry friend.
  • Delicious Frozen Bites: Another option is to portion out some canned cat food and freeze it for later use. It might be helpful to dilute pate formula foods with water to achieve a smoother consistency.
  • Tuna Chills: Pour some tuna or salmon juice over crushed or shaved ice. You can also blend it in a blender. Make sure to use fish that has been stored in water, as oils can be too fatty for your feline friend.
  • Squeeze Treats: Indulge your beloved feline companion with lickable treats. You can keep these items in the refrigerator or even in the freezer.
  • Cool Broth: Sodium-free broth is also a great choice, as it contains electrolytes. Pour some into an ice cube tray. Or, you can cool it in the refrigerator and then transfer it into a bowl.
  • Kitty Ice Cream: You can buy ice cream for Fluffy, or make your own. Combine plain, fat-free yogurt with canned or shredded tuna, chicken, turkey, crabmeat, or fish. Divide into small portions and freeze. (Hint: You can use bottlecaps to measure these out.)

Comfy Beds

You’ve probably noticed that cats have a knack for discovering cozy spots to take a nap in. During the summer months, it’s not uncommon to discover kitties lounging on the cool kitchen or bathroom floor, or perhaps even seeking refuge in the basement. Tile floors are great for keeping Fluffy cool and comfortable, as they stay cool in hot weather. Just take care not to accidentally lock your pet away somewhere!

Consider getting your pet a hammock or raised bed. You can easily create your own by simply attaching a piece of fabric to the legs of a table. These beds stay cool, as they allow for optimal air circulation beneath them.

Groom Your Cat

Our beloved feline companions are typically quite diligent when it comes to maintaining their appearance. Nevertheless, that doesn’t imply that Fluffy won’t be grateful for a little assistance. Brushing your cat helps remove dead fur, dust, and dander from her coat. These things can cause kitties to feel itchy and uncomfortable. Is there another bonus? By using a brush to remove your pet’s fur, you can prevent them from developing hairballs.

Let Fluffy Find Her Spot

Our feline friends have a remarkable talent for finding the coziest spots to relax in. Ensure that your cat has access to rooms that are cooled by fans or air conditioners, allowing her to find a comfortable spot.

How Can I Tell If My Cat Is Overheated?

Our feline friends can be seriously harmed by overheating. Fluffy’s ability to regulate her body temperature is limited. Panting is not very effective for her, and she can only release heat through her paw pads. Additionally, she is donning a fur coat! Knowing the warning signs is crucial.

Here are some of the key ones:

Restlessness: When Fluffy becomes too warm, she may start pacing or walking around without pause. She might also appear fidgety or unsettled.

Trouble Breathing: Kitties that are overheated may experience difficulty breathing, which can be a sign of respiratory distress. Your pet’s breathing may seem shallow, gasping, or simply abnormal.

Tummy Troubles: Vomiting or diarrhea can also indicate heat stress, especially when accompanied by other symptoms.

Panting: If you ever notice a cat panting, it’s definitely a cause for concern, as kitties don’t typically pant like dogs do.

Drooling: Kitties typically do not drool, so this is yet another sign that something is amiss.

Unusual Vocalizations: Although cats vary in their level of chattiness, they typically have a consistent voice or meow pattern. When they are feeling hot or distressed, they may express their discomfort through urgent and distressed meowing.

Disorientation: Fluffy may exhibit signs of being disoriented, confused, and distressed. Her movements may appear unsteady, and she might trip or lose balance while walking.

Lethargy: One more indication to be aware of is lethargy, which can be a sign of weakness. We are aware that cats tend to spend the majority of their time relaxing and taking it easy. If your furball appears listless, unenergetic, or simply feeble, then she is not merely indulging in another snooze: there’s something more going on.

Additional indicators of a more severe nature include the following:

  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures
  • Collapsing
  • Decreased urine production
  • Coma

Additionally, you might observe that Fluffy’s tongue is a vibrant shade of red, and her gums may appear either more red or paler than usual. 

If you see any of these signs, it is crucial to promptly contact your Leonardtown, MD veterinarian or the nearest emergency clinic.

What Should I Do If My Cat Is Overheated?

If you believe that your cat is overheating, take immediate action. It is important to ensure that your pet receives proper veterinary care,  but you will need to take necessary measures to help Fluffy cool down before transporting her. 

Avoid immersing her in cold water as it could potentially cause her to go into shock. You can hold her in front of an open freezer. Alternatively, position her in front of a fan and gently spritz the air flow with water. Or, wipe a cool, moist cloth across her fur. Make sure to reach out to your Leonardtown, MD veterinarian for guidance as you are doing this, to get detailed instructions.  

Schedule An Appointment With Your Leonardtown, MD Veterinarian

Do you need any assistance regarding your cat’s health or care? Does your cat need a check-up? Get in touch with us, your Leonardtown, MD pet clinic, right away!